Family Pushing For a IAmVanessaGuillen Bill to be Passed
Vanessa Guillen's family plans a protest in Washington D.C. on July 30, and are pushing for legislation to improve sexual harassment reporting in the military.
The bill the family and others are hoping to see passed by Congress would make it possible for those who are sexually harassed and assaulted in the military to report it to an independent source.
According to News 10, attorney Natalie Khawam says Guillen had informed her family about incidents of sexual harassment she experienced before she disappeared.
Khawam said, “Our soldiers need an outlet that is independent, neutral, unbiased and give[s] them resolution that is not conflicted with the military because there is no relationship."
Fort Hood officials at this point say they have not found any evidence of sexual harassment. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said the Army will conduct an independent investigation of Fort Hood. Khawam questions the ability of investigators to be impartial while investigating the base.
Tim Miller, a civilian who led search efforts after Vanessa's disappearance, recently told the Austin American-Statesman that military investigators overlooked evidence, including burned debris Miller's group found and reported on June 21.
President Trump during an exclusive interview with Telemundo recently called what happened to Vanessa “absolutely horrible". Meanwhile, the Military Times reports that hundreds of women have come forward with stories of sexual trauma they experienced during their time in the military, some of whom say #IAmVanessaGuillen has provided an opportunity for women and men to tell their stories.
Vanessa's family says funeral arrangements are still being worked out, but they say her story will not be buried and they're going to keep her memory alive as the fight for the IAmVanessaGuillen bill to be passed continues.
Investigators believe Vanessa was murdered by Spc. Aaron David Robinson, who then recruited his girlfriend, Cecily Anne Aguilar, to help him hide her remains. Robinson reportedly took his own life as police tried to confront him on July 1. Aguilar is charged with conspiracy to tamper with evidence.